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Friday, January 25, 2002

  • Feds count UW's students
  • Yoga teacher and author speaks tonight
  • Happening over the weekend
  • And a little of this and that
Chris Redmond

Scots today toast the Immortal Memory


Books, cheap: How cheap? "Make us an offer," say the signs at the bookstore's sale -- ending today -- in the concourse of South Campus Hall. Hardbacks, paperbacks, travel manuals, kids' stories, scholarly treatises, they're all going fast.

Feds count UW's students

The Federation of Students has been discovering just how hard it is to count Waterloo's students.

Some people have known for years that when you ask "How many students are there at UW?" the answer depends on whether you want undergraduates or graduates or both, full-time or part-time, co-op or regular, on-campus or off-campus, face-to-face or distance education, bodies or full-time equivalents, and so on. The Student Statistical Handbook is not a simple document.

The Feds just needed full-time undergrads, but it still wasn't easy, as they discovered after November's referendum. When the results were announced, there seemed to have been more people on the voters' list than were eligible to vote by any reasonable method of counting. Or as Brandon Sweet, of the Feds' staff, puts it: "Concerns over the numbers of eligible voters had been raised after the preliminary results were released on November 26."

He's now issued a statement:

After meeting with members of IST and the Secretariat, the process for generating the voters list was examined and clarified. Initially, it was reported that there were 21,646 eligible voters. However, after reviewing the criteria for eligibility and revising the queries made against the Registrar's Office data, the voters list was revised to 18,413, including eligible Federation of Students full time staff members.

A further cross-reference was made against the list of 2,229 voters from the referendum, and it was discovered that there were 16 votes that were cast by ineligible voters. 16 votes, representing 0.72% of the total number of voters, were not enough votes to statistically impact the results of the referendum. Since records are not kept of how individual students voted in the referendum, the 16 ineligible votes cannot be removed from the results. However, it is clear that a difference of 0.72% does not change the overall results of the referendum.

So here are the official results: And the official voter turnout rate is now 12.1 per cent.

Oh, the question in the November 20-22 voting was "Do you support the construction of an expansion of the Student Life Centre and the North Campus Athletic facilities as detailed in the Waterloo Campaign: Student Projects document through the addition of a non-refundable, $13.80 fee to the fee statement?"

Yoga teacher and author speaks tonight -- a news release from St. Jerome's University

In the 1980s Lucinda Vardey, a successful businesswoman with her own literary agency, made headlines when she negotiated the first million-dollar advance in Canadian publishing history. A few years later, after taking stock of her life, she made a dramatic change, selling her agency and devoting herself to speaking and writing about spirituality. Her 1995 book about Mother Teresa's spiritual teachings, A Simple Path, became a top seller in Canada and was on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list.

Tonight, Vardey will deliver the Joint Waterloo Catholic District School Board Lecture on "Beyond Words: The Language of the Feminine Spirit." The lecture takes place at 7:30 p.m. in Siegfried Hall at St. Jerome's University. Admission is free and all are welcome.

The "language of words," Vardey suggests, is a masculine, left-brain way of approaching God. Relying on words can limit our experience of the divine mystery. She contends that the "feminine," right-brain approach, characterized by the predominance of image, intuition, and ecstasy over word, rationality, and dogma, is an alternative worth exploring for both men and women.

A teacher of "Christ-centred yoga," Vardey has a special interest in the relationship between eastern and western spiritual teachings. She is also a founding member of the Catherine Collective, a not-for-profit organization named for St. Catherine of Siena, an outspoken critic of the 14th-century Church. Its goal is to promote an understanding of Anima, "the emerging life-giving force of feminine divine energy," which exists in all human beings, both male and female, and its potential role in bringing humankind closer to God.

Vardey is the author of Belonging: A Book for the Questioning Catholic Today (1988) as well as A Simple Path. She has also edited two anthologies, The Flowering of the Soul: A Book of Prayers by Women and God in All Worlds: An Anthology of Contemporary Spiritual Writing (included in the Globe & Mail's business bestseller list).

The Joint Waterloo Catholic District School Board Lecture is part of the 2001-2002 season of the St. Jerome's Centre for Catholic Experience, which is jointly sponsored by St. Jerome's University, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and the Congregation of the Resurrection.

Happening over the weekend

Employer interviews for spring term co-op jobs are near: students who will be taking part in the interview process should hand in a copy of their resumé package by 8:00 this evening at the drop-off slot in Needles Hall.

It's engineering alumni ski day at Osler Bluff, near Collingwood -- an annual outing organized by WET, the Waterloo Engineers in Toronto. Coming next on their schedule: a curling "funspiel" on March 10.

The winter blood donor clinic winds up today in the Student Life Centre, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A philosophy colloquium scheduled for this afternoon is also part of a series of talks on "rhetoric and incommensurability" organized by Randy Harris of UW's department of English. The speaker is John Lyne of the University of Pittsburgh; the time, 2:30 p.m.; the location, Humanities room 373; the topic, "Incommensurability: The Trope".

An event in honour of David Burns, former dean of engineering and professor of mechanical engineering, on his retirement, is scheduled for tonight at the University Club: reception from 4 to 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30. Ethel Spike in mech eng (phone ext. 6740) should have last-minute information.

Federation Hall tonight presents Tony Lee, X-rated hypnotist, with "the things you think are funny but are afraid to say or do". Tickets, $5 and $7, are on sale in the Federation of Students office in the Student Life Centre, if there are any left.

Electrical power in the BFG building on Columbia Street will be turned off from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow, the plant operations department warns. "Computer equipment should be shut down in an orderly fashion," a memo adds.

Tomorrow brings this term's ACM-style programming contest, a preliminary to the international programming contest in which UW generally does well. More information about the event is available on-line.

The Computer Science Club will hold what's described as a keysigning party tomorrow afternoon -- creation of "a web of trust" among people who send encrypted e-mail. It's all new to me, but Stefanus Du Toit, vice-president of the CSC, has all the details on-line.

The swing and social dance club will hold a dance -- nay, a New Orleans Dance Spectacular -- Saturday night at Local 527 Hall on Frobisher Drive in north Waterloo. A "basic lesson" at 7:15 will be followed by the Sensation Jazz Band, playing from 8:00 on, and tickets are available at the door at $8 for students, $15 for others.

Sports this weekend: The hockey Warriors will host York at 2:00 Sunday afternoon at the Columbia Icefield. Away from campus, the basketball teams are playing at Ottawa and Carleton this weekend; the women's indoor hockey team begins its season by taking part in the York Invitational; the nordic skiers are competing in North Bay; and the track and field teams are at Western.

And on the recreational level, this weekend brings the Black Knight squash tournament in the Physical Activities Complex.

Statement from Queen's

The principal of Queen's University yesterday challenged the Ontario government to set a goal: move the province from a bottom ranking in university funding to a position in the North American top ten.

And a little of this and that

Department have had their chance to hire co-op students this term with the salaries provided through student aid funds. "No further requests for funding can be accommodated," says a memo from Joanne Wade, director of student assistance. "Thanks to the overwhelming response, Winter Work Placement is now closed."

Laptop users have been eagerly waiting for a wireless network in the Davis Centre, something that was promised last fall. It's now in operation, although still being tested, says a web page issued by the Math Faculty Computing Facility. "Users are welcome," it says. "This network is known as MyriadNet and can be used by anyone with a UWdir userid & password, or a userid on the Mathematics Admin/Research machines (fe01, fe02, hopper, beta, pythagoras, theano) or the Mathematics Student environment (the student.math collection). The network consists of EnteraSys wireless access points. The Computer Store has the PCI/MCIA cards available from EnteraSys and the software drivers for a variety of operating systems are available on the web. . . . Be aware that wireless networks aren't as secure as wired networks, unless you're using end-to-end encryption (e.g. via ssh)."

Davis Cup tennis action is coming to Waterloo -- competition between Canada and Mexico is scheduled for February 8, 9 and 10 at the new RIM Park on the east side of the city. "Tennis Canada is now offering series tickets to university students at 50% off the regular price," says a note from the sponsoring organization. (That's a bigger discount than originally promised and announced in this week's Gazette, by the way.) "For only $30, catch three days of exciting Davis Cup action. . . . The five-set matches are crucial to a team's survival. Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to cheer on your country." The number to call is (800) 398-8761 ext. 333.

More for sports fans: the staff association has announced an outing to a Kitchener Rangers semi-pro hockey game on Friday, March 8. Tickets are $11, with discounts for seniors, students and children, and are available from Luanne McGinley at ext. 3497, as well as other members of the association's social committee.

Next, a note from Cathie Jenkins in the co-op and career services department: "Please consider joining your colleagues at the University of Waterloo who have sponsored the K-W Symphony in the Professional Colleagues program for over ten years! You have the choice of attending either the April 5 Pops (Salute to Broadway) concert or the April 12 Masterpiece (Mozart & More) concert at a cost of $150, or $300 for both concerts. Benefits are four tickets per concert, a tax receipt for $70 ($140 for both), a post-concert reception (if you choose the April 12 concert), an opportunity to enjoy one of the best orchestras in the country and a great feeling of having contributed to a worthy cause! For more information please contact Shirley Thomson (ext. 2592)."

The UW writing clinic has announced a short course on essay writing, to be offered three times: January 31, February 14 and March 14, for an hour and a half in the afternoon. "You may sign up through counselling services, ext. 2655," says a note from instructor Kim Jernigan. "Topics covered will include understanding what's required in an essay writing assignment, focusing your research, drafting an effective thesis, moving from example to analysis, avoiding the most common errors in grammar and usage."

Advance note: An optometry admission information night is scheduled for Monday, starting at 7:00 in Optometry building room 347. As the deadline for applications approaches, "admissions officers will be there to answer your questions," says Marie Amodeo, administrative assistant in the optometry school. "We look forward to seeing you there."

Even more advance note: the UW staff association will hold the next of its town hall meetings on Wednesday, February 13, at 12 noon in Arts Lecture Hall room 124. Apparently the memos that went out to members this week had some difficulty in getting date, time and place correct, but I'm assured that those are the facts.



January 25, 1958: UW announces the purchase of 200 acres of land for a new campus. January 25, 1977: Stress researcher Hans Selye gives the second of two addresses in the Humanities Theatre as the year's Hagey Lecturer.

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